Five tranquil spots to enjoy during the Edinburgh Festival
If the bustle of the Edinburgh Festival leaves you feeling in need of some peace and quiet, try these five lovely spots, all of which are within easy reach of the city centre.
Almost half of Edinburgh is made up of green space, and the city is home to dozens of tucked-away historical landmarks which await visitors looking to escape Edinburgh Festival for a while. The Edinburgh's 101 Objects guided trail sees the capital's historic past brought to life through objects which have helped shape the city's history, heritage, cuture and everyday life.
This pick of five tranquil spots highlights some of the most peaceful locations on the trail.
1. Patrick Geddes statue
Take a break from the High Street by heading to a secluded garden hidden behind the Scottish Book Trust. Here, visitors will be met by a bronze statue of Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) situated in a peaceful garden space most locals don’t even know exists. The biologist, philosopher and sociologist solved the Old Town’s problem of slum housing and sanitation by gently weeding out derelict buildings and organically adapting existing architecture in order to conserve it.
Garden behind Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House, Trunk’s Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR
In the same area, take a moment away from the madness to view ‘Still’ by Alison Watt. Housed within Old Saint Paul’s Church, Watt’s painting was created to convey the sadness she felt entering this memorial chapel for those lost in the World Wars. The 12-foot high image of hanging fabrics sits in front of the perfect spot for some quiet contemplation.
Old St Paul’s Church, 63 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DH
3. Magdalen Chapel
Built in 1541, Magdalen Chapel not only offers a quiet spot in which to soak up the quieter side of Edinburgh but is also home to Deacon’s Chair. Originally crafted by Thomas Heron in 1708, the chair was meticulously restored in 2000, using materials of the same age and age and source as the originals.
The Magdalen Chapel, 41 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JR
4. St Bernard's Well
For those looking to escape all things festival for an hour or two, a stroll to Stockbridge and the green banks of the Water of Leith is the perfect solution, and will bring visitors to St Bernard’s Well, an 18th century pillar temple set over a mineral spring. The rotunda was commissioned in 1789 by the eccentric Lord Gardenston who believed the well’s waters were a panacea, and even if that isn’t the case, the spot still exudes a sense of romance and tranquillity.
Upper Dean Terrace, Edinburgh, EH3 6TS
A short walk from Stockbridge through the quiet cobbled streets of Dean Village brings you to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and its stunning landscaped lawn, known as Landform. A stepped, serpentine grassy mound with three crescent-shaped pools, this peaceful space was created by Charles Jencks in 2001. Not only reflecting the Baronial 1825 Modern One gallery in its rippling water, this practical design, also acts as a noise barrier to the hubbub of the city beyond.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR